LINKS BETWEEN the Royal Navy and Helensburgh and Lomond were further cemented on October 7th with the official opening of Argyll and Bute Council’s new £22M leisure centre and swimming pool.
Part of the local authority’s ongoing regeneration of Helensburgh Waterfront, the leisure centre features a 25-metre swimming pool, luxury health suite, steam room and sauna, café and shop, and fitness studios.
Also featuring is the “Neptune Suite”, the leisure centre’s new gym, named after HMS Neptune – the shore establishment at HM Naval Base Clyde. The Neptune Suite has panoramic views over the River Clyde, with plans for information boards where gym-goers can learn more about some of the Royal Navy vessels they may spot from the fitness facility, and about nearby HM Naval Base Clyde.
Captain Nick Gibbons, Captain of HMS Neptune and Captain of the Base, said: “This is a fantastic addition to the local amenities and one that I am sure will be enjoyed by Base personnel and their families who live and work in the region.
“I am delighted that the naming of the Neptune Suite within this impressive facility reflects the close relationship between the Naval Base and the Community, a supportive relationship that continues to ensure our future plans are aligned and mutually beneficial.”
In February 2017, Argyll and Bute Council and the Royal Navy signed a Strategic Defence Development Framework (SDDF) Agreement. The Agreement committing them to working together to ensure that opportunities surrounding the investment in HMNB Clyde can also be used as a catalyst for growth and regeneration in the wider community.
The opening of the swimming pool and leisure centre represents an investment in Helensburgh of more than £22.3M, including £5M awarded from the UK Government Libor Fund, administered by the Royal Navy.
Helping to open the new facility was former World and European Champion, and two times Olympic swimmer, Ross Murdoch. Ross began his swimming ambition in Helensburgh by competing at his first ever swimming gala.
Ross joined Provost of Argyll and Bute, Maurice Corry, and Councillor Gary Mulvaney, to unveil a plaque to mark the occasion. Representing HM Naval Base Clyde was HMS Neptune’s First Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander Rob McMurran, and Leading Physical Trainer (LPT) Daniel Shannon.
The centre, which is operated by liveArgyll, is fully accessible and includes a changing places facility, a floating moveable floor in the training pool, and poolside pods for those with mobility issues to access the pool independently. As part of the project, the council has also installed new flood defences at the waterfront.
Original published here (3) HM Naval Base Clyde | Helensburgh | Facebook